UFC 276 Results, Highlights: Israel Adesanya trumps Jared Cannonier to retain middleweight crown

Ahead of the UFC 276 main event, UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya caused a stir with a performance inspired by WWE Legend The Undertaker. The subsequent performance wasn’t quite as entertaining as Adesanya methodically worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier.

Adesanya’s game plan revolved around jab, finting and landing leg kicks. It wasn’t pretty and frustrated the crowd, but it was effective in taking down a powerful forward in Cannonier.

Cannonier attempted to make an adjustment mid-fight to work from the clinch against the cage. Unfortunately for the challenger, when he was able to get a clinch, he was often unable to do much offensively other than landing knees on Adesanya’s thighs.

The fight lacked big action moments, instead showcasing Adesanya’s technical prowess and those skills’ ability to nullify Cannonier’s brute force approach. Cannonier often had to reach for counterattacks after Adesanya had already landed a punch or two and was moving way out of range.

Cannonier also occasionally attempted a takedown rather than settling for a clinch against the cage, but Adesanya was able to stay on his feet throughout the competition and continue to demonstrate an advancement in his wrestling skills, or at least the ability to back down make wrestling his opponents. Since Cannonier could only work from the clinch, it was to this well that he frequently returned.

In the fourth round, fans began to rebel slightly, booing loudly during Cannonier-initiated clinches or when the two men stood within striking distance without engaging in fireworks. By the fifth round, many fans had started leaving the arena.

By the end of the five rounds of action, it was clear that Adesanya deserved the decision, but the strike’s supporters’ spirit was gone when he was booed loudly after the announcement of the 49-46, 49-46 and 50-45 scorecards, all closed his favor.

After the fight, Adesanya was asked what the next step in his career would be after he had already knocked out almost every top contender at 185lbs.

Adesanya called out Alex Pereira, the man who had two kickboxing wins against Adesanya, including a brutal KO win, and who had previously defeated Sean Strickland on the main card.

“[Our previous fight] was a mistake on my part,” Adesanya said, turning to Pereira. You’ll walk like Elsa in Frozen.”

Elsewhere on the card, defending featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski completed his trilogy with Max Holloway by putting on his best performance yet. Volkanovski swept the judges’ scorecards after punching his opponent and leaving a nasty laceration above his left eye. Volkanovski, now on a 22-fight win streak, appears to be eyeing a possible lightweight title next.

CBS Sports was with you all the way on Saturday, bringing you all the results and highlights from UFC 276 below.

UFC 276 Map and Results

  • Israel Adesanya (c) def. Jared Cannonier by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) defeated. Max Hollowey by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • Alex Pereira defeated. Sean Strickland via first-round TKO (punches)
  • Bryan Barberena defeated. Robbie Lawler via TKO in the second round (punches)
  • Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz ends with no contest due to Eye Poke
  • Jalin Turner defeated. Brad Riddell on first round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Jim Miller defeated. Donald Cerrone via second round submission (guillotine choke)
  • Ian Garry defeated. Gabriel Green by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Defeated Dricus Du Plessis. Brad Tavares by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Andre Muniz defeated. Uriah Hall by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Defeated Maycee Barber. Jessica Eye by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Defeated Yulia Stoliarenko. Jessica Rose-Clark on First Round Submission (Armbar)